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FAQs

FAQ - WillPoint Notification Services

FAQ - WillPoint Will Search


FAQ - WillPoint Notification Services

How does Willpoint determine how to release confidential information to searchers of its database?

WillPoint does not release confidential information. The information provided by participating law firms is only used to match and direct potential executors to the participating law firm.

Searchers view results showing only basic details of potential matches. Obtaining any further information is determined and controlled by the law firm in accordance with its own internal procedures. Search information and details of the searcher are provided to the law firm, which may confirm or reject a request for further information.

If a request is confirmed by the law firm, the contact details of the firm are released to the searcher.

The WillPoint system is designed to facilitate you connecting with the authorised personal legal representative without taking control of the process or confidential client information leaving your hands.

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What happens if I do not respond to a search request?

If WillPoint does not receive a response to a search request within 72 hours from the law firm/custodian then WillPoint will release the firm’s contact details to the searcher. WillPoint does not release any further information at any point.

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What was the decision in Hawkins v Clayton?

Hawkins v Clayton (1988) 164 CLR 539 was a decision of the High Court which considered the negligence of a solicitor that had failed to advise an executor of the existence of a more recent will of the deceased.

In short, a majority of the Court found that the firm had not taken reasonable steps to locate the executor after the death of the willmaker. Read the full text of the decision.

The decision has been referred to favourably in developing the rules surrounding solicitors' duty of care ever since. Unfortunately, other than occasional guidance from stakeholders such as legal insurers or law societies, there is little information to assist law firms to discharge this potential liability.

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Does participating in Willpoint mean I will be flooded with
notifications and search requests?

WillPoint only sends one email a day - the Willpoint Daily Report containing all relevant data. Reviewing and actioning the intuitive Daily Report is a minor task when compared to the time and expense involved in manual methods of reviewing name-by-name the daily Court sites and newspapers around Australia.

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How does Willpoint add value to my practice?

WillPoint pre-qualifies and filters any notice or search request before it is sent to you. Each notification or request therefore represents a potential estate instruction or avoided risk scenario, adding significant value to your practice.

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FAQ - WillPoint Will Search

How long will it take to receive the results of my WillPoint search?

WillPoint will provide you with a list of potential matches instantly via the WillPoint Secure Will Search.

If you follow up on these search results using our locator service, you will receive a response to your second stage WillPoint enquiry within 72 hours.

This timeframe enables us to make enquiries with the law firm or will custodian on your behalf. If WillPoint does not receive a response from the holder of the will, the contact details of the relevant legal firm or custodian will be released to you.

While participating law firms and custodians allow WillPoint access to detailed information on wills held by them, WillPoint uses this information only to facilitate matching searches. Willpoint provides a structure and database to quickly and efficiently match next-of-kin to the holders of wills, but does not release any confidential information directly to searchers of its facility.

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Can the law firm holding the will charge me or refuse to provide the will to me?

Where a relevant will is found, you will need to satisfy the holder of the will that you are entitled to it. This normally involves proving your identity and establishing that the maker of the will has in fact died.

It is the professional obligation of law firms to release a will to the authorised personal legal representative, such as the executor or next-of-kin.

Most law firms will not charge for the release of wills held in safe custody storage, although some may charge a low, nominal fee.

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What happens if I don’t get a reply?

You will receive a reply within 72 hours of your initial search. Even where an existing or more recent will is not located, you will receive a WillPoint Certificate of Search confirming that no matching will was located and recording the search results.

Whether the latest will is located or not, the Certificate will provide proof to a Court or other parties of your efforts to locate the last will and testament of the deceased. This helps to discharge the responsibility of any person administering an estate.

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Who is eligible to receive a will?

Depending on the circumstances, the person or people named as the executor or trustee of the will are entitled to obtain the original will on the death of the willmaker. Other family members may also be able to establish reasonable grounds for the will to be made available to them.

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What do I do when I find out where the will is located?

If the will is held by a law firm or other custodian you should contact them to organise the release of the will to you as an entitled party.

You will need to satisfy the holder of the will that you are entitled to it. This normally involves proving your identity and establishing that the maker of the will has in fact died.

It is the professional obligation of law firms to release a will to the authorised personal legal representative, such as the executor or next-of-kin.

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